Sir Elton John has a few words for DaBaby.
After the rapper went on an offensive rant at Rolling Loud Miami over the weekend, the iconic singer pushed back on the “homophobic” remarks that spread “misinformation” about HIV and AIDS.
In a statement issued on behalf of his Elton John AIDS Foundation, John said he was “shocked” to hear what DaBaby said, as it “fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic.”
“HIV misinformation and homophobia have no place in the music industry,” said the statement, which also emphasized that the virus “has affected over 70 million people globally: men, women, children and the most vulnerable people in our communities.”
“You can live a long and healthy life with HIV,” the statement continued, noting that “homophobic and HIV mistruths have no place in our society and industry and as musicians, we must spread compassion and love for the most marginalised people in our communities.”
“A musician’s job is to bring people together,” the statement concluded.
DaBaby, whose real name is Jonathan Kirk, was heard telling the crowd on Saturday: “If you didn’t show up today with HIV, AIDS, or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that’ll make you die in two to three weeks, then put your cellphone lighter up. … Fellas, if you ain’t sucking dick in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up.”
The remarks were met with widespread backlash, including from his “Levitating” remix collaborator Dua Lipa. She told fans on her Instagram story Tuesday: “I’m surprised and horrified at DaBaby’s comments. I really don’t recognize this as the person I worked with. I know my fans know where my heart lies and that I stand 100% with the LGBTQ community. We need to come together to fight the stigma and ignorance around HIV/AIDS.”
Fast-fashion brand Boohoo Man announced Wednesday it would be cutting ties with the rapper, whom it released a 100-piece capsule collection with in June.
In a statement posted to social media, Boohoo said: “BoohooMAN condemn the use of homophobic language and confirm we will no long be working with DaBaby. Diversity and inclusion are part of the Boohoo Groups DNA and we pride ourselves on representing the diverse customers we serve across the globe. We stand by and support the LGBT+ community, and do not tolerate hate speech or discrimination in any form.”
DaBaby initially doubled down on his comments on Instagram Live this week and declared he “wasn’t going on a rant.”
“That’s called a call to action. That’s what that’s called, cause I’m a live performer. I’m the best live performer,” he told fans.
But he has since changed his tune, issuing an apology on Twitter on Tuesday night: “Anybody who done ever been effected by AIDS/HIV y’all got the right to be upset, what I said was insensitive even though I have no intentions on offending anybody. So my apologies. But the LGBT community... I ain’t trippin on y’all, do you. y’all business is y’all business.”